A Sight to Behold
Taiwan is a Chinese majority country. Most of the people are either Buddhist or Christians. It is therefore easy to find Buddhist temples or churches around the country. However, during our visit to Taiwan, we were very impressed with a sight to behold. The Taipei Grand Mosque. It is truly a symbol of tolerance in this island country.
We decided to visit the Taipei Grand Mosque
When preparing our Taiwan itinerary, we read a lot of blogs as well as Facebook postings on Taiwan. During this time, we noticed that one famous place of worship that the Muslim Malaysians always visited during their trip to Taiwan is the Taipei Grand Mosque.
After knowing about this place, we include the mosque in our itinerary and during our third day in Taiwan, we visited the mosque after our visit to Maokong earlier on.
A little bit of history
Taipei Grand Mosque, as it name denotes, is a grand mosque situated in Da’an district in Taipei. It was built in the 1960s and it is the largest mosque in Taiwan. In 1999, the mosque is listed as one of the historical landmarks of the city.
As Taiwan is not a Muslim-majority country, the sight of such a grand mosque really impressed us. This is because, the Taipei Grand Mosque has a total area of 2,747 square metres, which is very large. Apart from that, just nearby this mosque is a church.
Having seen this mosque and the church standing proudly side by side, we could not help but to think how lucky the Taiwanese are. At a time where racial and religious prejudices exist everywhere in this world, in Taiwan, there is still a glimpse of hope to mankind. It shows how democratic a society the Taiwanese are.
How to get to Taipei Grand Mosque
It is very easy to get to Taipei Grand Mosque. Just take the MRT and alight at Da’an Park station. Before exiting the station, you can check the signs to ensure which exit to choose.
Upon exiting, just walk into the park following the main trail. The Taipei Grand Mosque is just 7 minutes away from the station by foot. You will not miss the mosque as it is very huge.
Praying in the mosque
“Allahuakbar allahuakbar“, we heard the Azan (the Islamic call to prayers) as we were walking, meaning that the mosque is just around the corner. By the time we arrived, the Maghrib prayer has already started.
We went into the mosque to join but the prayer was ending. So, we decided to pray on our own. Looking around, we could see people of different races just leaving the prayer hall.
There were Chinese (presumably local Taiwanese), Arabs, Indonesians and Pakistanis. Whilst walking into the prayer hall, we noticed some kids who had just finished praying, playing on the field. Impressively, they were all speaking in Mandarin despite not being Chinese.
The main prayer hall of Taipei Grand Mosque is simple. Nothing extravagant but it is this minimalist concept that make this mosque amazing. It looks and feel… real. While a tourist attraction by itself, the mosque need not pretend to become something it is not. Whatever that we saw and experienced were the real deal.
Halal food near the mosque
After our prayers, we decided to have some dinner. Gladly, there are halal food options just beside the mosque. If you are looking for Halal food in Taiwan especially Taipei, this is another place where you can go.
There are two Indonesian restaurants beside the mosque. The Royal Cafe and Restaurant and Toko Sakura, the latter includes a convenience store.
We chose Royal and ordered some Indonesian food. After three days, finally we got to eat something that tasted closer to home.
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